I was driving home the other day and couldn't help but notice a tree that stood out from all the other trees around it. This tree still had ALL of its leaves unlike its neighboring trees which were completely bare (keep in mind, this is the March). The leaves clinging to this tree though were not lush and green but brown & shriveled. It was quite UGLY! Then it dawned on me that a lot of Christians look like that tree.
Jesus explained in John 15:2 that "Every branch in me that bears not fruit he takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, he purges it, that it may bring forth more fruit." KJV
The AMP version says God "repeatedly prunes" so that we will bear "richer and finer fruit".
How many of us are holding on to things in our lives that God has been asking us to let go of? Maybe a relationship we know we should put an end to, or an addiction (yes, eating too many sweets is an addiction!). Maybe it's bad attitudes, jealousy or anger that we need to cut away... These things we are clinging to are actually making us look ugly.
Did you know that God is in the farming business (among other businesses) :)? Sowing, reaping, pruning... He knows when we allow Him to prune the old out of our lives He will grow beautiful fruits in us. Fruits like love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, self-control...
God is glorified and honored when we bear MUCH fruit. ( John 15: 8 AMP)
Be encouraged to know that if God is trying to prune you, you must be producing fruit because Jesus said the branch that is not bearing fruit gets taken away, thrown into the fire and burned! I don't know about you but I'd rather go through a pruning process than be burned!
So how can you make the fruit in you grow faster? I don't know about you, but I'm always looking for simpler/ more efficient way to do things. :) The answer is in one word...
The more time we spend with Jesus, the faster he will cultivate the fruits the Holy Spirit has put in us. It really is that simple! Let's allow God to trim away any ugliness that's been hanging onto us and watch beautiful fruit grow inside of us. And unlike trees, we don't have to wait until Spring to see growth. It happens immediately! :)